As the weather starts to get cooler, the Golden Nordic Ski Club is gearing up for what they anticipate will be a busy 2020-21 season.
With over 800 members already signed up, surpassing the 660 members registered last year, Jeff Dolinsky, of the Nordic Club’s board of directors, says the club is still working on their COVID-19 pandemic response protocols in working towards the opening of the season.
“We understand how important it is for people to be outside and have the opportunity to recreate in a safe and fun fashion,” said Dolinsky.
“We’ve seen a massive growth in membership and it’s just the beginning of December.”
Dolinsky anticipates that parking will pose the biggest limitation, anticipating that on busy weekends it will be a challenge to keep skiers two metres apart as they head to the chalet.
He said the club is working on touchless check in and payment to keep things running smoothly and COVID-safe.
For those who are new to the sport, looking for a way to get outdoors safely this winter, the club will plans to offer rentals this season, with proper sanitizing as a part of equipment rental protocols.
According to Dolinsky, the main change members can expect this year will be activity in the chalet, which will be open for washrooms, rentals and emergency use only.
“We have volunteers and staff working hard right now to get our protocols right,” said Dolinsky.
“It’s important to get it right so people feel safe and that they’re able to have fun without concern for their safety.”
The club says that they will continue to offer lessons, which can be booked over the phone or through the chalet.
The club will also be looking to resume its programs with locals schools and are hopeful about bringing out Grade 7 students if the schools are willing for some outdoor physical education.
The Loppet, the annual race held by the club, has been cancelled in person due to COVID-19, with Dolinsky saying the hope is the event can be held online.
The race will take place over a course of 10 days, where racers will be able to time themselves and upload the results, with pictures for proof, expected to take place sometime in February.
Dolinsky says the club is still working out the details and hope to have that rolled out over the next few months, in time for the Loppet.
The Dawn Mountain Nordic Trails, which are a provincially run recreation site, are open for skiers to go out and enjoy at any point, while the nordic club continues to work towards an official opening for its members.